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Can I avoid probate without putting the property into my wife's name with both my will and joint living trust in place?

Charleston, SC |

My wife and I have a joint living trust but the properties I own are in my name. I also have a will.

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Attorney answers 3


You can avoid probate with real estate by either adding your wife as a joint owner or executing a deed that transfers the property into your living trust. A last will and testament does not avoid probate. It is merely a ticket to probate.

Please keep in mind that I am a NY attorney. I would strongly reccommend that you retain a local attorney to help with any transfers.


Attorney Lappin is correct. I have a sense from your question, however, that you are concerned that the provisions of the trust itself could allow the assets to pass directly to your wife. If that is your issue, I strongly urge you to talk with a solid estate planning attorney about the provisions of your living trust and whether they need to be modified to accomplish your goals. Good luck to you.

This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


For a living trust to be effective, the assets that you want to pass outside of probate have to actually be deeded in the name of the trust. In other words you need to have a South Carolina Probate Attorney draft a deed for any properties that you want placed in the trust. Once the properties are in the trust, then those properties will not have to go through probate but will be handled according to the terms of the trust.

This answer is for general advice. It is not legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship. For legal advice you have to retain your own attorney.

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